Proxy-based Video Transmission: Error Resiliency, Resource Allocation, and Dynamic Caching

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1 Technische Universität München Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationsnetze Fachgebiet Medientechnik Proxy-based Video Transmission: Error Resiliency, Resource Allocation, and Dynamic Caching Wei Tu, M.Sc. (TUM) Vollständiger Abdruck der von der Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik der Technischen Universität München zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades eines Doktor-Ingenieurs (Dr.-Ing.) genehmigten Dissertation. Vorsitzender: Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Hanik Prüfer der Dissertation: 1. Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckehard Steinbach 2. Prof. Pascal Frossard (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Schweiz) Die Dissertation wurde am bei der Technischen Universität München eingereicht und durch die Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik am angenommen.

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3 To my beloved family and beautiful Munich

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5 Abstract Digital video transmission over today s communication networks still faces some challenges. Transmission errors, packet losses or time-varying delay significantly impact the quality of video applications. In this thesis, proxy-based transmission frameworks are considered to improve the quality of video transmission from several perspectives. To improve the robustness of video transmission over error prone mobile networks, a proxybased transmission strategy is proposed. The proposed system recovers from transmission errors on the downlink by retransmitting corrupted packets. Retransmission for conversational video is enabled by encoding the video with a fixed prediction distance which corresponds to the Round-Trip-Time on the downlink. For transmission errors on the uplink, a dynamic reference picture selection scheme is applied to predict the next frame from error-free video content, so that the error propagation caused by this error can be stopped. In both cases, the proxies are located at or close to the base station. This enables faster error recovery by sending feedback to the sender on the uplink and by receiving feedback from the receiver and resending corrupted packets on the downlink. The two parts, although individually designed, work well in concert. This proxy-based reference picture selection scheme leads to a significant performance improvement compared to traditional end-to-end error recovery approaches. The second part of the thesis discusses the congestion control and resource assignment issue for video applications on congested network nodes. Incautious dropping of video packets leads to significant quality degradation. Proxies executing intelligent rate adaptation algorithms are able to give a better solution. Different algorithms are proposed for the scenarios when pure streaming video, pure conversational video, or both streaming and conversational videos are available. By employing the sent along side information, the proxy shapes the rate of incoming videos in a rate-distortion optimized way. Both conventional single layer videos and the newly appeared scalable videos are considered and corresponding solutions are investigated. Simulation results show that a huge improvement is achieved by the proposed methods running on the proxy nodes. Proxy-based frameworks are also widely used in video on demand applications. The proxy located close to the clients is able to shorten the response latency from the system and dev

6 crease the traffic on the Internet between the proxy and the server. To address the weakness of the proposals in the literature, a dynamic segment caching algorithm is proposed. The design of the algorithm running on the proxy is based on the conclusion drawn from a sophisticated subjective test, where users prefer an immediate response from the system and a small deviation of the starting point is fully tolerable. The proposed approach considers the popularity difference between video fragments, therefore video content with high popularity is more likely to be cached. Furthermore, the proxy is also able to select a better serving mode to serve the user requests. Experimental results show that a much higher user satisfaction can be achieved by the proposed scheme compared with the conventional approaches. The three parts of the thesis address the three important issues of video transmission over today s communication networks. The proposed proxy-based frameworks and the corresponding approaches significantly improve the quality of video applications.

7 Kurzfassung Die Übertragung digitaler Videodaten über heutige Kommunikationsnetze ist trotz großer Fortschritte in den letzten Jahren noch immer eine große Herausforderung. Übertragungsfehler, Paketverluste und variable Verzögerungszeiten beeinflussen deutlich die Qualität von entsprechenden Anwendungen. Diese Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit Ansätzen, mit denen die Qualität der Videoübertragung bezüglich mehrerer Aspektive verbessert werden kann. Um die Robustheit der Videoübertragung über fehleranfällige Mobilfunknetze zu verbessern, wird eine proxy-basierte Übertragungsstrategie vorgeschlagen. Das vorgeschlagene System erholt sich von Übertragungsfehlern auf dem Downlink durch Rückübertragung der beschädigten Pakete. Die Rückübertragung für dialogorientiertes Video wird durch eine feste Prädiktionslänge bei der Videocodierung ermöglicht, die von der Round-Trip-Time auf dem Downlink abhängt. Für die Übertragungsfehler im Uplink wird eine dynamische Referenzbild- Auswahl angewendet, um das nächste Bild fehlerfrei vorhersagen zu können, so dass die Fehlerfortpflanzung gestoppt werden kann. In beiden Fällen befinden sich die Proxies auf oder in der Nähe einer Basisstation. Dies ermöglicht eine schnellere Fehlererholung des Systems durch die Fehlermeldung an den Sender auf dem Uplink und durch den Empfang von Rückmeldungen vom Empfänger und die Rückübertragung der beschädigten Paketen auf dem Downlink. Die beiden Teile, obwohl individuell gestaltet, funktionieren gut zusammen. Diese proxy-basierte Referenzbild-Auswahl führt zu einer deutlichen Leistungssteigerung im Vergleich zu herkömmlichen Ansätzen zur Ende-zu-Ende-Fehlerbehebung. Der zweite Teil der Dissertation diskutiert die Staukontrolle und Ressourcenzuordnung für Video-Anwendungen auf überlasteten Netzknoten. Unvorsichtiges Abwerfen von Video- Paketen führt zu einer signifikanten Qualitätsverschlechterung. Proxies, die intelligente Ratenanpassungsalgorithmen ausführen, können eine bessere Lösung bieten. Verschiedene Algorithmen werden für die unterschiedliche Szenarien Streaming-Video, dialogorientiertes Video, sowie kombiniertes Streaming- und dialogorientiertes Video vorgeschlagen. Durch die Verwendung der mitversandten Seiteninformation, reguliert der Proxy die Rate der ankommenden Videoströme mit einem raten-verzerrungsoptimierten Verfahren. Sowohl herkömmliche vii

8 Single-Layer-Videos als auch skalierbar codierte Videos werden untersucht und entsprechende Lösungen vorgestellt. Simulationsergebnisse zeigen, dass eine beachtliche Verbesserung erreicht wird, wenn die vorgeschlagenen Methoden auf dem Proxy-Knoten laufen. Proxy-basierte Ansätze werden auch in Video-on-Demand-Anwendungen häuftig verwendet. Der Proxy in der Nähe der Clientgeräte kann die Antwortzeit verkürzen und den Datenverkehr im Internet zwischen dem Proxy und dem Server reduzieren. Um auf die Schwächen der in der Literatur vorgeschlägenen Ansätze einzugehen, wird ein dynamischer Segment-Caching- Algorithmus vorgeschlagen. Der vorgestellte Ansatz basiert auf einer Schlussfolgerung aus aufwändigen subjektiven Tests, in denen sich gezeigt hat, dass die Nutzer eine sofortige Reaktion des Systems vorziehen und eine kleine Abweichung vom Ausgangspunkt vollkommen toleriert wird. Das vorgeschlagene Verfahren berücksichtigt die unterschiedliche Popularität zwischen Video-Fragmenten, wodurch der Video-Inhalt mit hoher Popularität auch mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit zwischengespeichert wird. Außerdem kann der Proxy auch der Benutzeranfrage einen besseren Dienstmodus bieten. Experimentelle Ergebnisse zeigen, dass durch die vorgeschlagene Methode im Vergleich zu den konventionellen Ansätzen eine deutlich höhere Zufriedenheit der Nutzer erreicht werden kann. Die drei Teile der Dissertation befassen sich mit drei wichtigen Themen der Videoübertragung über heutige Kommunikationsnetze. Die vorgeschlagenen proxy-basierten Ansätze und die entsprechenden Algorithmen verbessern die Qualität von Video-Anwendungen deutlich.

9 Acknowledgements I am extremely grateful to my advisor Prof. Eckehard Steinbach for his excellent guidance throughout my Ph.D study. His creative idea, constant encouraging, friendly criticism and kind help benefit me quite a lot. I have learned from him not only the knowledge in the research topics, but more important, the way of doing scientific research. I would like to thank Prof. Pascal Frossard for accepting to be the second auditor of my thesis and Prof. Norbert Hanik for heading the committee. Also many thanks are given to my colleagues in the Institute of Communication Networks, especially the members from the Media Technology Group. A lot of valuable knowledge sharing, creative discussions and pleasure chatting make my life in the institute exciting and unforgettable. Special thanks to Yang Peng, Hu Chen and Fan Zhang for the kick session after lunch and the sc games on weekend, which make a lot fun during my Ph.D study. I would also like to thank Günter Liebl, Dr. Hrvoje Jenkač and Dr. Jacob Chakareski. I really enjoy the joint work and valuable discussions with them. Especially, with our effort, the work with Günther Liebl obtained the Best Paper Award in Packet Video Workshop in Last but not least, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my parents, my wife Jessie for their unselfish support, patience and love, and also many thanks to my son for the happiness he brings to me. ix

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11 Contents Contents List of Figures List of Tables List of Abbreviations i v ix xi 1 Introduction End-to-end System Architecture Proxy-based System Architecture Digital Video Preliminaries Video Compression and Transmission Quality Evaluation Summary of Major Contributions Dissertation Organization Error Resilient Conversational Video Introduction State-of-the-art Error Resilience without Feedback Feedback based Error Recovery Proxy-based Reference Picture Selection Downlink Error Recovery Uplink Error Recovery Combination Experimental Results RIMU F-MDDE i

12 ii CONTENTS NEWPRED RESCU Adaptive RPS in Uplink Proxy-based RPS Complexity Analysis Chapter Summary RD-Optimized Rate Shaping Introduction State-of-the-art Transcoding Frame Dropping Scalable Video Multiuser Optimization Rate Shaping for Streaming Video Priority-based Random Early Dropping (PRED) Utility-based Frame Dropping Cost Function-based Video Frame Dropping Rate Shaping for Conversational Video Side Information for Conversational Video Frame Dropping Strategy Rate Shaping for Streaming and Conversational Videos Proposed Framework Scheduling Strategies Rate Shaping for Scalable Video Side Information for Scalable Video Rating Shaping Algorithm Computational Complexity Memory Cost Computational Complexity Experimental Results Simulation Setup Steaming Videos Conversational Videos Streaming and Conversational Videos Scalable Video Chapter Summary

13 iii 4 Popularity-Aware Partial Caching Introduction Subjective Tests Test Setup Results Proxy Caching Structure and Working Principle Cache Update with Dynamic Segment Structure Segment-Prefix Structure Serving Mode Selection GOP Level Popularity Cost Calculation Replacement Algorithm Performance Evaluation Metric Experimental Results Simulation Setup Performance of DECA Performance of PAPA Performance Comparison Chapter Summary Conclusions and Future Work Conclusions Future Work Bibliography 111

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15 List of Figures 1.1 A traditional communication system A proxy-based communication system Common structure of a hybrid video coder Typical encoding structures Mobile video telephony scenario Multi-decoder distortion estimation with feedback NEWPRED for a RTT of 2 frame intervals RESCU for a RTT of 2 frames interval Error propagation for FDRPS when frame i is corrupted Coding efficiency as a function of the prediction distance for two test sequences using H.264/AVC with 15Hz Adaptive RPS triggered by feedback from the base station to the sender Error robust mobile video telephony using the proposed PRPS framework RD performance of RIMU for the Foreman sequence and 1% random packet loss in both uplink and downlink RD performance of MDDE and F-MDDE with K=30 for the Foreman sequence and 1% random packet loss in both uplink and downlink RD performance of F-MDDE for a RTT of 6 frames for the Foreman and Salesman sequences RD performance of NEWPRED for the Foreman sequence for different RTTs RD performance of RESCU for the Foreman sequence for different RTTs Performance of the adaptive RPS schemes used for uplink error recovery, Foreman, RTT of 3 frames RD performance of PRPS as a function of the RTT on the uplink and downlink for a 5% packet loss channel. The mean burst length is 5 packets. The test sequence is Foreman v

16 vi LIST OF FIGURES 2.16 Performance of PRPS and the comparison schemes for the Foreman sequence Performance of PRPS and the comparison schemes for the Salesman sequence Mean reconstruction quality as a function of packet loss rate for a mean packet burst loss length of 5 for the Foreman sequence Mean reconstruction quality as a function of RTT for 5% packet loss rate for a mean burst length of 5 for the Foreman sequence Search range of the slice level RPS without error concealment A network node with K incoming video streams sharing the same outgoing link. The aggregate input rate is larger than the available output rate Example settings of dropping thresholds for PRED Error propagation in an IBPBP... structure Frame dropping decision with a decision window DW: Algorithm flow chart VDW: Algorithm flow chart Interpolation of λ(n) between λ min (n) and λ max (n) as a function of the current buffer Error propagation for a single frame loss Structure of the RD-optimizer for frame dropping of streaming and conversational video Operational RD points for scalable coding of video sequences with H.264/SVC Performance of PRED thresholds, R represents the outlink rate in kbps Utility-based frame dropping for streaming videos Performance of cost function based frame dropping Performance comparison of frame dropping schemes for streaming video Performance comparison of the proposed RD-optimizer and PRED/RR for streaming and conversational videos Performance evaluation of SVC Fair RD-optimization achievable with SVC Server-Proxy-Client network structure for VoD applications Fast playback with prefix caching User interface of the TUMplayer Results of the subjective VoD performance evaluation test Averaged user score and approximated user satisfaction model Two-level cache structure Variable size segment structure Example of cost evaluation for segment merging

17 vii 4.9 Example of pair information update for segment merging Example of video and GOP level access frequency, which is used as popularity distributions in our experiments Performance of DECA as a function of cache percentage User satisfaction as a function of the available transmission rate at a cache percentage of 10%. (α V =0.8, α G =0.8) One complete suffix GOP is cached Performance of PAPA as a function of the percentage of cached content for different prefix lengths. The suffix has the same length as the prefix. (α V =0.8, α=0.8) Performance of PAPA as a function of the percentage of cached content for different suffix lengths. (L P =5, α V =0.8, α=0.8) User satisfaction for DECA and comparison schemes as a function of cache percentage. (α V =0.8, α G =0.8) User satisfaction of DECA and comparison schemes as a function of α G in the Zipf distribution.(α V =0.8, L P =10)

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19 List of Tables 2.1 RD performance when only one mobile user is in wireless network Construction information of all test sequences Encoding characteristics of the test sequences Characteristics of test video sequences encoded with JSVM Performance bounds of PRED Comparison of utility-based dropping and random dropping Assignment of forwarding date rate Properties of the videos for subjective tests Properties of the videos used in the simulation ix

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21 List of Abbreviations Abbreviation Description Definition ARD Accelerated Retroactive Decoding page 17 AVC Advanced Video Coding page 15 BS Base Station page 14 CBR Constant Bit Rate page 4 CGS Coarse Grain Scalability page 60 CIF Common Intermediate Format (352x288 pixels) page 85 CNN Cable News Network page 84 CPU Central Processing Unit page 4 DC Distortion Chain page 47 DECA Dynamic segment-based Caching Algorithm page 83 DW Decision Window page 48 DPB Decoding Picture Buffer page 18 DSL Digital Subscriber Line page 4 EGOP End-GOP page 104 FDDI Fiber Distributed Data Interface page 4 FDRPS Fixed-Distance RPS page 14 FEC Forward Error Correction page 15 FLRPS Frame Level RPS page 24 F-MDDE Feedback-based MDDE page 18 FMO Flexible Macroblock Ordering page 15 HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol page 5 IPv4 Internet Protocol version 4 page 5 IPv6 Internet Protocol version 6 page 5 LAN Local Area Network page 1 LRU Least Recently Used page 83 MB Macroblock page 15 MDC Multiple Description Coding page 15 MDDE Multi-Decoder Distortion Estimation page 17 MGS Medium Grain Scalability page 60 xi

22 xii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS Abbreviation Description Definition MPEG Moving Picture Experts Group page 1 MS Mobile Station page 14 MSE Mean Square Error page 8 NACK Negative Acknowledgment page 18 NAL Network Abstraction Layer page 60 NEWPRED New Prediction page 18 PAPA Popularity-Aware Partial caching page 82 PDA Personal Digital Assistant page 5 PRD Priority-based Random Dropping page 43 PRED Priority-based Random Early Dropping page 43 PRPS Proxy-based RPS page 26 PSNR Peak-Signal-to-Noise Ratio page 8 QCIF Quarter Common Intermediate Format (176x144 pixels) page 27 QoS Quality of Service page 1 QP Quantization Parameter page 22 RD Rate-Distortion page 10 RESCU Recovery from Error Spread using Continuous Updates page 17 RIMU Random INTRA Macroblock Update page 16 RNG Random Number Generator page 97 RPS Reference Picture Selection page 17 RS Reed Solomon page 15 RTT Round-Trip-Time page 2 SLRPS Slice Level RPS page 24 SLRPSEC SLRPS with Error Concealment page 25 SNR Signal-to-Noise Ratio page 44 SVC Scalable Video Coding page 59 TCP Transmission Control Protocol page 5 TV Television page 84 VBR Variable Bit Rate page 4 VCR Video Cassette Recorder page 80 VDW Virtual Decision Window page 49 VoD Video on Demand page 11 VoIP Voice over IP page 3 VLC VideoLAN Client page 84 WAN Wide Area Network page 1 WGOP Whole-GOP page 104 WLAN Wireless Local Area Networks page 4

23 Chapter 1 Introduction Multimedia information, including audio, video, image and text, is widely used in our daily communication. Among them, video and audio are continuous and should be processed and played according to their timeliness. Otherwise, the quality of the playout is degraded and some of the information included in the media is lost. Transmitting video data over wireline or wireless networks leads to additional challenges. Uncompressed video has a high data rate compared with other media types and it is typically not possible to transmit the raw digital video data directly. Videos compressed with state-of-the-art hybrid video codecs (e.g., MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264) are very sensitive to transmission errors or packet losses, which might lead to severe quality degradation. Therefore, well designed network infrastructures are desired to improve the Quality of Service (QoS) for video transmission. 1.1 End-to-end System Architecture The classic definition of a transmission system includes a sender, a receiver and a transmission network in between, as shown in Fig The end-equipments in the figure are not necessarily computers, but include all communication terminals (e.g., telephones, set-top boxes, televisions, handheld devices). Similarly, the network cloud also includes all kinds of networks along the transmission path (e.g., Internet, Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN), Cellular or Wireless Networks). Network Figure 1.1: A traditional communication system 1

24 2 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION In order to speed up the transmission, people try to keep the network nodes with low complexity, which simply forward the packets passing through them. The famous paper End-to-end arguments in system design [SRC84] published in 1984 suggests to preclude the implementation of any kind of higher-level functions within a network. This means that the transmission network is almost transparent to the user data sent through it and all control mechanisms have to be realized by the end equipments, such as: rate adaption, error recovery, transformation, etc. However, as mentioned in [BCZ97] and [Moo02], such a purely endsystem-controlled structure has the following shortcomings. ˆ Additional complexity has to be added on the end systems, which is unfavorable for the design of handheld devices. ˆ When the end-to-end Round-Trip-Time (RTT) is long, users might experience a large latency of the feedback from the other side in the session. When feedback information is used for error recovery (e.g., retransmission), the efficiency is significantly decreased. ˆ End users can only control the rate of their own session. However, the available transmission resource changes frequently in the best effort Internet if no additional resource reservation is supported. The end user is not able to know the information of all network nodes and links on the transmission path. 1.2 Proxy-based System Architecture Net1 Net2 Figure 1.2: A proxy-based communication system To overcome the above mentioned problems and to achieve more efficient transmission, proxies are widely used in todays network for a huge variety of services. As shown in Fig. 1.2, a proxy is an intermediary placed in the path between the sender and receiver, separating the network cloud into two subnetworks marked as Net1 and Net2. The proxies are normally built on top of the conventional network nodes (e.g., gateways, routers, switches, base stations, access point, service controller, etc.) to enable additional computation and storage capacity of the nodes. Proxy-based approaches can be classified according to the type of application they are involved in, such as Web-browsing [CLZ99, ASTP03, PZ07, WSA08, DA99, SSV99, BV07,

25 1.2. PROXY-BASED SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE 3 SPvSA07], Voice over IP (VoIP) [GWA07, TZM08, RQ08], Video on Demand [WSAT02, WW07, FLSA + 01, CSY + 05, ILL07], and others. A more meaningful way of classification follows the main task or function executed by the proxies. In the following, some of the most important tasks and functions of these intermediaries in the proxy-based systems are introduced. ˆ Resilience and Recovery are particularly important for the transmission of timecritical traffic over those networks with large and/or variable end-to-end delays. Proxies can be setup on the transmission path to improve the error resilience of data transmission or when an error happens, to enable a fast recovery. For that, proxies should be located at the network nodes close to the bottleneck links [BBAC06], which have the highest bit error rate or packet loss rate. When the transmission is over heterogeneous networks including wired and wireless networks, the proxies are normally placed at the edge of the wireless networks, as they are typically more error prone and resource constrains than the wired networks. The contribution of the proxies for resilience and recovery is mainly due to the following two facts: (1) They are able to collect more accurate information of the network condition as they are close to the links with impairments. (2) The delay of the feedback information from the receiver or downstream node is much smaller than that in an endto-end infrastructure. Based on the timely and accurate information of the channel, the most suitable error protection rate or error recovery scheme can be determined. For instance, joint source-channel coding [PM03, MGC + 01], or encoder-decoder resynchronization [BBAC06, MW00, TS04, WFC02, BG03, YYW04, MSH03]. ˆ Caching Management is probably one of the oldest tasks of proxies and it is even where the name proxy comes from. It is quite normal that people in the same department or same group have similar interest and a lot of information will be visited therefore many times. Without proxies, all requested information has to be downloaded from the remote content server for many times, which generates a lot of traffic. However, this additional traffic can be avoided if a proxy server sits at the closest common network node on the path to the server (e.g., the gateway of a LAN). Another benefit that can be brought by using a proxy server is that the response latency is much smaller compared with the system without proxy. This is due to the fact that the round-trip-time between the client and the proxy is in general much smaller than that between the client and the server. As some of the content has been cached, when requested, it can be forwarded directly from the proxy, therefore experiencing a much lower latency. As proxies can not have infinite storage capacity, only a portion of previously requested content can be cached. In principle, video content with high popularity (i.e., hitting

Quality Estimation for Scalable Video Codec. Presented by Ann Ukhanova (DTU Fotonik, Denmark) Kashaf Mazhar (KTH, Sweden)

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